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France’s Adam Siao Him Fa rallies past Shoma Uno for second straight Grand Prix figure skating title

CHONGQING, China (AP) — Adam Siao Him Fa of France upstaged two-time defending world champion Shoma Uno of Japan with a dazzling free skate on Saturday to win the gold medal in the men’s event at the Cup of China.

Siao Him Fa, last week’s winner at his home Grand Prix in France, landed four quadruple jumps to just two for Uno to erase a 14-point deficit from the short program.

The European champion, who was second after the short program, opened his free skate with a quad lutz and followed with a quad toe-loop, triple toe-loop combination.

Later in his routine, Siao Him Fa landed a quad toe-loop and a quad salchow to finish with a season-best 207.17 points in the free skate for a total of 298.38.

With his second straight win, Siao Him Fa qualified for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final on December 7-10 in Beijing.

First after the short program, Uno fell on his opening quad toe-loop and then could only manage a double flip on a planned quad flip. He recovered later with a two quad toe-loops but the damage was done.

He finished with 174.73 points in his free skate for a total of 279.98. Mikhail Shaidorov of Kazakhstan held on to third place with a clean free skate that featured three quad jumps and finished with 264.46 points.

The Cup of China is the fourth of six events of the Grand Prix Series where skaters compete and collect points to qualify for the Grand Prix final.

Japan’s Hana Yoshida came from third place after the short program to win the women’s competition for her first career Grand Prix title.

The 18-year-old Yoshida stepped out of her opening triple axel but landed all her other jumps to finish with 139.32 points in the free skate for a total of 203.97.

“After my triple axel I was a little bit disappointed,” Yoshida said. “I wanted to land it clean but after that I was able to concentrate on the elements after and forget about the axel. That was good.”

Rinka Watanabe, also of Japan, was second with 203.22 points while world bronze medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium, first after the short program, dropped down to third.

Hendrickx skated a dynamic program to “Living for Love” and “Break My Soul,” but under-rotated a triple toe-loop to open her routine.

She also under-rotated a triple flip and finished with a total of 201.49 points.

Russia’s women skaters, who have dominated the world competitions, are not taking part due to a ban imposed by the International Skating Union following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirer came back from being a point down after rhythm dance to win the free dance and take first place in the ice dance competition with 207.83 points.

"We are really proud of what we accomplished today,” Poirier said. “It’s always hard to come back after a not so strong performance and put it behind you, just clear your mind and allow yourself to skate like you know how to do.”

With the Cup of China win, Gilles and Poirer qualified for the GP final.

Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha also of Canada were second with 206.02 while the American duo of Caroline Green and Michael Parsons were third with 189.33.

In pairs, Skate Canada champions Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Canada won the free skate to finish first with 201.48 points

Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini of Italy were second with 191.00 followed by China’s Cheng Peng and Lei Wang with 178.06.

The next competition is the Nov. 17-19 Grand Prix Espoo in Espoo, Finland.

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports